Traveling to Australia tops many travel bucket lists these days making Australia one of the top travel destinations in the world. But with such a high influx of travelers, the Australian environment is taking a massive hit.
Considering that pretty much all of the main attractions in Australia – the Great Barrier Reef, the beaches, the wildlife – are part of the natural environment, we think that it’s now more important than ever before to ensure conscious, sustainable travel in Australia is top of mind for every visitor.
Traveling to Australia but don’t know what you can do to make your trip to Australia more sustainable?
Here are some of the simplest ways to practice sustainable travel in Australia:
This is something you should be doing everywhere, all the time! Australia makes it easy for you – local governments provide residents and businesses with the proper bins for glass, paper, general waste, and compost.
Whether it’s in your hotel room, on the beach, or in a National Park, take the extra couple seconds to separate out your waste – it makes a huge difference and has a direct impact on the beaches, reefs, and wildlife.
If wherever you’re staying doesn’t offer separate recycle bins, most local grocery stores will have recycling bins available.
Recycling Near You is a great resource for finding where to go to separate your trash out.
And if you’re having a particularly hard time finding recycling resources in the area you’re visiting, try and cut down on your waste overall as you travel in Australia! This can be done by bringing reusable water bottles, straws, and Tupperware.
Australia is no stranger to droughts in recent years. And because of this, its citizens have become a lot more aware of water conservation tactics and the importance of saving water.
An easy way to make your Australia trip more sustainable is to converse water during your visit. Consider taking shorter showers and turning off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth – small changes like these can help make a big difference.
Look for Transportation Alternatives
One thing you learn as you travel in Australia is that the country is massive – there’s no denying that. So traveling slower and focusing your Australian holiday on just one or two states can reduce your need to fly.
Once you’ve arrived in a city, there are also many eco-conscious options for getting around. Public transport in Australia offers options to get just about anywhere, be in by bus, ferry, tram, or a train.
And if you’re truly committed to having the least impact on the environment while traveling in Australia, you can always rely on a zero-emission option – bicycles and your own two feet!
Purchase Carbon Offsets
Read Next: How to Reduce Carbon Footprint from Travel
Choose Responsible Accommodations
More and more hotels now are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint. There are a variety of ways that a hotel can do this – from choosing non-toxic cleaning supplies to having on-site power sources (like solar) to locally sourcing their food, and switching over to energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
Here are some awesome resources for finding eco-friendly hotels all over Australia:
- Green Getaways – Best of Australian Ecotourism
- Sustainable Technology Forum – 7 of Australia’s Greenest Hotels
- Travel Myth – Best Eco-Friendly Hotels in Australia
Choose Responsible Tours
Many tourists participate in tours as part of their Australia travel itinerary, which can have a negative impact on Australia’s most precious natural wonders.
One of the most fragile parts of the Australian environment is the Great Barrier Reef. There have been countless studies stating that if we continue to visit it in the fashion that we do, at the rate that we do, it’s going to disappear within our lifetime. It’s especially important to choose a responsible tour operator so as not to further damage the reef and its surroundings.
And this is true for a lot of the major natural sights in Australia that can be accessed via tours, including another tourist favourite – the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland.
There are many ways to travel to Whitsundays and experience its beauty without harming the environment. Whenever possible, opt for a sailboat tour (like these options offered by Cairns’ visitor center). Motorboats drop oil into the water and the emissions pose dangers for marine mammals.
As you make your way around the best places to visit in Australia, avoid large coach excursions of any kind – opt for smaller tours that promise to have a smaller imprint on every destination they visit.
Where possible, opt for an Aboriginal guided tour (with companies like Bundyi Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge or Kadoo Tours) – not only do they operate in smaller tour sizes which is better for the environment, you’re also helping locals feed their families!
Give Back on your Australia Holiday
If you’ve got time to spare on your Australia holidays, take some time to volunteer with a reputable organization focused on the environment. Whether it be animal conservation, beach cleanups, marine life conservation projects, or beyond, combining volunteering with travel in Australia is a great way to reduce the impact of your visit.
If you do choose to volunteer as you travel in Australia, make sure that the company you volunteer with is actually allocating their money to the conservation programs they run.
Transparency is key in making sure your volunteer experience benefits the place you’re visiting!
There’s a reason tourism down under is booming right now – it’s a beautiful, dynamic destination. Whether it be a solo adventure, a trip for the family or a beautiful honeymoon, Australia’s got something to offer everyone.
And it’s easy to make your Australia trip much more sustainable! We’ve all got to do our part to protect this beautiful country so that those who wish to travel to Australia after us can continue to enjoy its most beautiful natural sights and resources.